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Opinions of Monday, 23 February 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Osafo Maafo Is No More Tribally Bigoted Than John Mahama

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Feb. 19, 2015

It is interesting how these days some key operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) appear to be spying on and studiously monitoring the speeches and conversations of their counterparts of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), in a bid to scoring cheap political points. In one of the most recent incidents, it was the voice of Mr. Bugri Naabu, Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, whose voice was allegedly captured on audiotape impugning the credibility and integrity of the two foremost administrators of the NPP.

In that particular instance, some movers and shakers of the NDC were clearly attempting to create divisions among the top-echelon membership of the New Patriotic Party. Now we have also just learned that the voice of Mr. Osafo-Maafo, former Finance Minister in the Kufuor government, has been captured over comments that one NDC party hack quaintly characterized as "primitive" and "bigoted" and has the potentiality of "tearing the very fabric that binds us together as [a nation of] one people with a common destiny."

Now, I don't know about any such bunk as all Ghanaians being bound together by any "fabric" (whatever that means or is worth), that Mr. Osafo-Maafo is, somehow, supposed to be unwisely trying to rip apart. I did not recognize this purported fabric in the coldly calculated Mafia-style abduction and brutal and summary assassination of the three Akan-descended Accra High Court judges when Mr. Rawlings ruled the proverbial roost. Neither did I envisage the same in 2007, or thereabouts, when in the wake of the Anloga chieftaincy-related violence, then-President John Agyekum-Kufuor dispatched a military detachment to promptly stanch the internecine hostilities. Back then, as I vividly recall, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings mordantly accused his immediate successor of attempting to impose "Asante Imperialism" on the people of Anloga and the Anlo people in general.

Then also, the periodically constant and consistent mauling up of some inhabitants of the Volta Region trying to express their inalienable franchise in favor of the NPP by hired goons and thugs of the NDC, fully convinces me that Mr. Fred Agbenyo, the NDC Deputy Communications Officer, is simply jiving when he plaintively talks about Mr. Osafo-Maafo's trying to rip apart some fabric binding all Ghanaians together as one people with a common destiny. If there is, indeed, any act of destiny calling forth Anlo-Ewes like the Rawlings posse to fatally target Akan-descended Ghanaian citizens as a means of cementing some fabric that, somehow, binds us together as one people, in spite of such wanton acts of criminality, it goes without saying that I don't want to have any share in such bloody bond.

I will also not defend Mr. Osafo-Maafo if, indeed, it is true that he has questioned the leadership domination of ethnic minorities in the Mahama government not on grounds of professional and/or administrative merits or demerits, but simply because these non-Akan leaders hail from parts of Ghana that are bereft of any significant economic and/or natural resources.

What I can say for certain, without any fear of contradiction, is that when President Mahama appointed Mr. Kofi Buah as his Petroleum and Energy Minister, largely based on the grounds of the latter hailing from the oil-producing Western Region, under pressure from some members of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, the President pretty much endorsed the otherwise outlandish notion that, somehow, cabinet appointments ought to be based on the regional provenance or origin of the appointees, rather than the professional and/or administrative competence of the subjects involved.

But even more significantly, I also don't remember Mr. Agbenyo issuing any strongly worded press statement when President Mahama sarcastically and bigotedly and cynically stated in Kumasi, the traditional royal capital of Asanteman, that so incurably ungrateful were the Asante people that even if he, Mr. Mahama, paved all the roads and highways of the Asante Region with gold, the Asante people would not even half appreciate this generous gesture. To be certain, you even had ministerial appointees like Mr. Mahama Ayariga, the Sports Minister, staunchly backing up President Mahama in his bigotry!

The unpleasant fact of the matter is that whatever strain of bigotry may be aptly envisaged to be contained on the alleged Osafo-Maafo audiotape, it definitely is no aberration; in reality, Mr. Osafo-Maafo's alleged anti-minority comments to some party faithful in the Eastern Region, strikingly parallel other equally scandalous and outrageous comments made by even far more prominent non-Akan Ghanaian politicians and leaders. But then, who said what is good for the gander is also not good for the goose?